Police release new details in disappearance of Kathryn Stalbaum

TOWN OF GENESEE (WITI) -- The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department released more details Thursday, November 14th regarding Kathryn Stalbaum, the Waukesha County girl who was found safe in Chicago on Friday night, November 8th after being reported missing on November 5th.

Prior to being safely located in Chicago, Stalbaum was last seen around 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, November 5th at her Town of Genesee residence.

"I was losing sleep. People here were all upset about it," Frank Schroepfer, the manager of Le Duc's Frozen Custard in the Village of Wales said.

He says last week, Stalbaum's disappearance was all customers could talk about.

"All our hearts and prayers went out to the family. Everybody was so worried," Schroepfer said.

According to police, Stalbaum voluntarily left her home on her bicycle early Tuesday morning, November 5th. Police say she traveled to Goerkes Corner Park & Ride at Barker Road and Bluemound Road in the Town of Brookfield

Once there, Stalbaum left her bike at the Park & Ride, got a bus and traveled to Chicago O'Hare Airport. Stalbaum remained in Chicago for the next three days. While in Chicago, police say Stalbaum "did not sleep much" and "walked around most of the time."

"I wonder if she realizes what horrible things could have happened there. Wow! That's a big, scary town," Schroepfer said.

On the afternoon of Friday November 8th, Stalbaum sought out a Chicago Police Officer for help in returning home.

At this time, law enforcement is not disclosing why Stalbaum left.  The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department said in a statement: "While 'why' is important to the family, law enforcement must be sensitive to the fact that Kathryn is still a juvenile. We have a legal responsibility not to publicly report the details of juvenile matters. Disclosure of personal family details will not assist the family in transitioning Kathryn back to school and normalcy."

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and the Stalbaum family thanks the public for their help.  " want you to know how much we all appreciate all your help in this matter, including your offers of services, help in searching, numerous prayers and just passing the word of her disappearance.  Thank you."

Questions still remain, like how the teen's bicycle ended up back in Waukesha, and how much the search cost taxpayers.

The Sheriff's Department said they want any missing person to trust in the idea that coming home will not result in more trouble than they already perceive they're facing.